Monday, December 05, 2005

No sympathy here 

If the opposition thought there stupid boycott idea was going to gain them support internationally or somehow undermine the legitimacy of the Venezuelan government they were badly mistaken. Take for example this article from the New York Times:

The withdrawal of the parties also ensured that Venezuela's opposition has, for all practical purposes, ceased to exist in an organized form, paving the way for an easy victory by Mr. Chávez for another six-year term in the election for president late next year. Mr. Chávez, first elected in 1998, has already served longer than any leader of a major Latin American country, except for Fidel Castro of Cuba.

"Chávez would have annihilated them anyway," Alberto Garrido, a critic of the government and an author of several books about the president, said by phone from Caracas. "Now, they are starting from scratch. There are people in the opposition, but the opposition leadership is in tumult, without a strategy. Tomorrow, Monday, they will not know what to do."

With polls indicating that government candidates would crush them in the election, opposition leaders had for weeks threatened to pull out. They accused electoral authorities of using digital fingerprint machines at polling sites that would permit the government to determine how individuals had voted. Last Monday, in a decision brokered by the Organization of American States, the National Electoral Council announced that it would not use the machines.

But to the surprise of election monitors, opposition parties began announcing their withdrawal on Tuesday, with some anti-government leaders charging that an open vote could not be guaranteed because four of five members of the Electoral Council are viewed as partial to Mr. Chávez. The opposition decision appeared to be aimed at appealing to international support and discrediting Venezuela's government, which has strong approval ratings.

"The main objection was the digital fingerprint machine, which was removed, and now their line is we don' t trust the system, there must be another trick there," said José Miguel Vivanco, the Americas director of Human Rights Watch, which has been harshly critical of Mr. Chávez.

"It's really hard to understand what exactly the political opposition leadership has in mind," he said. "But certainly it is not going to help them to present themselves as victims that deserve solidarity from the international community. With these kinds of tactics I don't think they'll gain any ground."

All the rest of the international media I have read, including the anti-Chavez Washington Post, has had similiar reporting. But what I find particulary damming is one of the opposition`s international propaganda war, Jose Vivanco of Human Rights Watch, is slamming them as being unworthy cry babies.

I don´t know. The mystery of what these idiots could have been thinking continues to deepen.


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